Sports Mascots You Had No Idea Existed

By (Featured Columnist) on January 31, 2014

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Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Unless you sleep on a bag of ice or arrive at social gatherings on the arm of a falconer, there's not much dignity in being a team mascot, especially if you're toiling away in relative obscurity.

When mascots trend on Twitter or go viral on YouTube, it's never because they nailed a triple backflip and brought the crowd to its feet. Mascots make headlines when they punch rival mascots in the face, suffer epic falls or get arrested sans furry facade.

Basically, each and every time a man or woman shoehorns himself or herself into 70 pounds of moist foam rubber and aging fabric, they're doing it for a reason that transcends money, fame and respect. And you have to respect that.

This is an homage to all those mascots who prance around arenas, stadiums and rinks—in relative obscurity—looking like a vague, psychotic facsimile of the thing they are actually supposed to be. 

Lou Seal and Krash

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MLB.com

Team: Columbus Clippers 


Affiliation: Cleveland Indians, Triple-A


The team is called the Clippers, so a seal dressed like a pirate and a parrot dressed like a high school jock were the only possible choices for mascots. Duh.  

Big L, Elle and PeeWee

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MLB.com

Team: Lexington Legends


Affiliation: Kansas City Royals, Low-A


The Lexington Legends' many mascots are legendarily creepy, and the elaborate backstories cooked up by their PR team don’t do much to change that perception. 


And just in case you're wondering—Big L and Elle are married, but PeeWee is single and ready to mingle. 

Steelman

35b5623436a4ccd8bc8d796162a9b2b1_crop_650
Joliet High School vis MaxPreps

School: Joliet Central High School


Mascot: Steelmen 


Another very literal interpretation. They’re the Joliet Central High School Steelmen (and Steelwomen, apparently), so their mascot is a Steelman. 


A man made from and constructed of oddly shaped blocks of steel. A Steelman. That’s a thing, right?

Mighty Mariner

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Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Team: Grimsby Town F.C. 


Mascot: Mariners


Unfortunately for Grimsby Town fans, there really isn’t anything mighty about the team's old-man mascot, Mighty Mariner. 


Actually, that’s not true! Mighty Mariner looks mighty grumpy. It looks like he’s shouting “Get off my lawn, ya damn hooligans!” 

Henrietta

461b3df938d6ac85005da4ab67453406_crop_650
facebook.com/HuttoISD/

School: Hutto High School


Mascot: Hippos 


Despite what looks like a seriously disabling physical girth, the hippopotamus is actually one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals. 


Hutto High School wanted its mascot to be tough but not too tough. A hippo with big, red, kissable lips is perfection personified in that department. 

River Rat

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wikicommons

School: Huron High School


Mascot: River Rats


Huron High School definitely thought outside the box to come up with the River Rats mascot. 


As someone who has lived near many rivers, I can personally attest to the fearlessness and surprisingly confrontational nature of river rats. 

Wally Walnut and Al Almond

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MLB.com

Team: Modesto Nuts 


Affiliation: Colorado Rockies, High-A 


In choosing a mascot, the Modesto Nuts decided to go the literal route as opposed to something more abstract. 


Wally Walnut and Al Almond are the products of a very unimaginative mind. 

Homer the Dragon

A7086944afcf425025ca42c4e89035b3_crop_650
Flickr user washuotaku, blog.springield-crescent.com

Team: Charlotte Knights 


Affiliation: Chicago White Sox, Triple-A


Homer the Dragon is one of the cuter nonsensical mascots in minor league baseball. Actually, considering there’s a “Knights & Dragons” game app, I suppose it’s not that nonsensical. 


Homer predates the app by a couple of decades, though, so perhaps he was the game creator’s muse. 

Orbit

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ABQIsotopes.com

Team: Albuquerque Isotopes


Affiliation: Los Angeles Dodgers, Triple-A 


The Isotopes—yes, the team was inspired by the Springfield Isotopes on The Simpsonsmascot is a “large goofy alien” named Orbit. 


His bio notes that “his floppy ears, friendly eyes, and long snout gives him the appearance of a dog while his large belly makes him look like a stuffed bear.”


I’m not seeing any of that. Orbit looks more like a radioactive Big Bird—all that exposure to radioactive isotopes was bound to catch up to him eventually. 

Sandcrab

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victoriaadvocate.com

School: Calhoun High School


Mascot: Sandcrabs 


Calhoun High School is located in the Texas Gulf town of Port Lavaca, making the sandcrab a pretty natural—though not entirely intimidating—mascot. 


The school is actually situated on Sandcrab Boulevard, which makes you wonder if they just picked the first name they saw on a sign. 

Diggity, Hambone and Chris P. Bacon

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MLB.com

Team: Lehigh Valley IronPigs 


Affiliation: Philadelphia Phillies, Triple-A


The IronPigs' official mascots are actually Ferrous and FeFe, two plushy pigs who may or may not be married. They’re probably just living in sin together in the same pen.  


Hambone, Diggity and Chris P. Bacon race during the 7th inning stretch—like the sausages in Milwaukee, the pierogies in Pittsburgh and the presidents in Washington.

Ferrous and FeFe

E58ea269a44b0b4adc25daca9bcf292f_crop_650
facebook.com/LHVIronPigs

Team: Lehigh Valley IronPigs 


Affiliation: Philadelphia Phillies, Triple-A


Just in case you were curious about the IronPigs living in sin, here are Ferrous and FeFe. 

Rowdie

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aroundindy.com

Team: Indianapolis Indians


Affiliation: Pittsburgh Pirates, Triple-A


According to the team's website, Rowdie is a “fuzzy red bear” who found his way to Bush Stadium because he was unable to find a proper cave for hibernating in Indianapolis. 


The story of how Rowdie came to be is actually six full paragraphs, if you’re interested. I’ll save you some trouble—they don’t explain how/why his nose was replaced with a baseball.

Jerky

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ihsa.org

School: Hoopeston High School


Mascot: Cornjerkers 


The Hoopeston High School Cornjerkers are kinda like the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Both have to do with the manual manipulation of corn. 


They should really change the name, though, because Cornjerker just sounds graphic. High school kids don’t need help making things sound filthy. 

Quills and Champ

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blogs.thetimes-tribune.com, mlb.com

Team: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders


Affiliation: New York Yankees, Triple-A 


Back in November 2012, the Yankees applied to trademark the name RailRiders, which was leading the fan vote at the time. "At the time" being the operative phrase, because Porcupines ended up getting the majority of the votes in the end. 


Rather than submitting all that pesky paperwork again, the team added a porcupine over the RailRiders logo—which looks ridiculous—and brought Quills on board to placate the fans. 


As for Champ, the crazy blue baseball monster with pipes for ears, there’s no semi-reasonable explanation for him. He’s just the product of someone’s bad acid trip. 

Parker

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MLB.com

Team: Fresno Grizzlies 


Affiliation: San Francisco Giants, Triple-A 


Since the team is called the Grizzlies, it’s safe to assume that Parker the mascot is supposed to be a grizzly bear. 


Or the product of a grizzly bear that mated with a giant bag of circus peanuts. 

Aardvark

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runnerspace.com

School: Oregon Episcopal School


Mascot: Aardvarks 


Oregon Episcopal School’s Aardvark mascot tops the list of American mascots (excluding those with an apostrophe)…when put in alphabetical order. 


The aardvark isn't a particularly useful or intimidating animal, but as a mascot, it represents a significant step up from a falcon (the school’s former mascot) in terms of creativity. 


 

Barley

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facebook.com/Barley/photos_stream

Team: Hillsboro Hops


Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks, Low-A


The Hillsboro Hops mascot is Barley. See what they did there? Hops + Barley = Beer! 


It’s kinda clever and sorta stupid, which is an awesome combination, if you ask me. 

Stix

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Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Team: Denver Outlaws


Mascot: Outlaws


The Denver Outlaws lacrosse team picked a very good animal representation of an outlaw for its mascot. Like all raccoons, Stix comes equipped with a built-in bandit mask. 


And when he’s not supporting the Outlaws at games and in the community, he’s probably knocking over your garbage cans and scattering your trash all over the street. 

Boomer

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Gail Oskin/Getty Images

Team: Boston Cannons 

Mascot: Cannons

The Boston Cannons lacrosse team mascot, Boomer, is a hilariously lighthearted take on a piece of antiquated heavy artillery. 

Boomer is one happy-go-lucky and drunk-looking weapon of marginal destruction. Only Boston could pull off something like this.  

Cosmo

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Flickr user leon-guerrero

Team: Las Vegas 51s


Affiliation: New York Mets, Triple-A 


According to the team's website, Cosmo “is a survivor of a spaceship crash who spent time at Area 51 and was a baseball phenom on his home planet of Koufaxia.” He loves hot dogs, the Styx song “Mr. Roboto” and Star Trek


That’s a pretty elaborate backstory aimed at disguising the fact that Cosmo is obviously just Jar Jar Binks. At least they picked the one character George Lucas probably wouldn’t go to court to protect. It would be too embarrassing. 

Ballapeno and Henry the Puffy Taco

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samissions.com

Team: San Antonio Missions 


Affiliation: San Diego Padres, Double-A


Ballapeno is the official mascot of the Missions, and Henry the Puffy Taco is nothing more than a corporate shill who pretends to love baseball but only truly cares about selling tacos. 


Now, we can’t even trust the intentions of a grown man (or woman, but probably a man) dressed as a taco! What is this world coming to? 

Mean Machine

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reddit

School: Camas High School 


Mascot: Papermakers 


At some point in time, the powers that be at Camas High School in Washington had to choose a team name, and for some crazy reason, they decided on the Papermakers. 


Papermakers, the makers of paper. Mean Machine, their actual mascot, looks like a missing part from a printer with the face of someone trying to fix said printer. 

Archie

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reno.mlblogs.com

Team: Reno Aces


Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks, Triple-A 


The Aces mascot, Archie, looks like the illegitimate child of Grimace and Big Red, Western Kentucky’s mascot. 


Look at him stripping naked in front of a ballpark full of families! That’s just not right. Neither is that freaky tongue of his. Mascots don’t need tongues. 

Derrick the Oiler

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facebook.com/DerrickTheOiler

Team: University of Findlay 


Mascot: Oilers


University of Findlay mascot Derrick the Oiler is, quite obviously, a long-lost but very close relative of Steely McBeam, the Steelers' equally burly and bearish mascot. 


Just look at that square jaw, neatly manicured scruff, jumpsuit and hard hat. Derrick works on a macho oil rig; Steely works at a macho steel mill. 


These macho men are two very strapping peas in a muscular and sturdy pod. 

Rip Tide

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wikicommons, MLB.com

Team: Norfolk Tides 


Affiliation: Baltimore Orioles, Triple-A 


The Norfolk Tides are proud to claim Rip Tide as their mascot and biggest fan


Rip Tide loves nothing more than firing up the home crowd. Just don’t ever let him borrow your keys—big blue dude is a terrible driver.

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